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About The Carving Path Forum


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The Carving Path welcomes carvers from many disciplines, whose work involves small-scale carving. We hope that this forum will provide a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning.


This statement has been the welcoming introduction used since the beginning of the forum in January of 2005. These simple words were put forth by the forum’s founders, describing the hopes we had for providing a place where a community of carvers could gather.


The Carving Path forum concept began soon after I was asked to populate the newly opened International Netsuke Society Forum in November of 2004. I invited the collectors and carvers that I knew to visit the INS forum and to begin posting. It quickly became apparent that many carvers were delighted to have a meeting place to discuss the needs of carvers who work in a small scale. Soon thereafter, Don Fogg, Jim Kelso and I began The Carving Path, having sensed the need for interaction in a place apart from the netsuke collectors’ forum. Also, we did so out of respect for the intent of the netsuke collectors’ forum.


The intention of The Carving Path has always been to provide a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning. Accessible means the forum is open to carvers of all abilities, from absolute beginner to those whose work is highly regarded. In addition to the carvers, collectors also visit the forum and may choose to participate.


The diversity of the membership has created a unique knowledge resource that continues to grow and to reinforce the hope that the forum would be an informative place for communication, education and learning. The forum is a place where we learn from the experience of others.


The Carving Path forum is a global community and provides a sense of connectedness among carvers who are isolated from one another. Though we may be together on the forum pages, the internet is an impersonal connection, where the members are not able to share face-to-face contact. When connected through this internet forum we are able to share our words and thoughts almost as though we are together. This is a remarkable opportunity and privilege. Unable to hear the nuances contained in spoken words and not seeing the language of the body, it is difficult to perceive the intentions of the writer, whether or not a statement was made as humor or criticism. This global community uses English as the language of the forum. This presents challenges to those who use English as a second language, or even to those English speakers from one country and another.


The description for the intentions of The Carving Path uses the word ‘friendly’. The following definition characterizes the intent meant by using this word:


friend·ly adj

1. characteristic of or suitable to a relationship between friends

2. tending to be beneficial or favorable toward somebody or something

3. not antagonistic toward or in conflict with another

4. with a pleasant welcoming atmosphere

5. not played or undertaken in a fiercely competitive mood

6. safe or easy to use or operate or easy to understand (usually used in combination)



in a manner that befits friends



1. somebody who is amicable and shows no enmity (informal)


Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.


This definition is clear in many ways. It is quite possible to maintain The Carving Path interactions in a friendly manner. This has been demonstrated year after year by a majority of the more than 17,400 posts (to date) in this forum’s archives.


The Carving Path forum is a place for respectful discussion, acknowledging that our diversity of intentions, experiences, and accomplishments might reveal a diversity of opinions. When posts become disrespectful, antagonistic, cause protracted conflict, enmity, or rancor, or exhibit bullying behavior, the atmosphere then is no longer friendly and respectful, and disrupts the demeanor and well being of the forum.


I am resolute about maintaining an atmosphere where information is given and received between members of all abilities in a respectful manner.


Janel Jacobson

The Carving Path Owner

December 11, 2009

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